More From Eric Dixon at

Support Independent Investigations With Bitcoin:
Send Bitcoin Here: 171GMeYRD7CaY6tkXs8dSTjLbAtFazxhVL

Top 50 Twitter Rank of Worldwide Startup Advisors For Much of 2014
. Go to my professional site for solutions to your legal, business and strategic problems. The only lawyer who is a co-inventor of multiple, allowed-for-grant patents on blockchain technology!!! Blockchain and Digital Currency Protocol Development --
Top Strategic Judgment -- When You Need A Fixer -- Explore Information Protection and Cryptographic Security -- MUST-WIN: JUST DON'T LOSE -- SURVIVE!: Under Investigation? Being Sued? Handling Extreme Stress -- Corporate Issues -- Startup Issues -- Investor Issues -- Contracts To Meet Your Needs -- Opposition Research -- Intellectual Property, Media and Reputation Issues -- Independent, top-notch legal, strategic and personal advice -- Extensive ghostwriting, speechwriting, book writing, issue research, press and crisis management services. Listed by American Bar Association's Law Bloggers (Blawgers). Contact European Union audiences: This site uses a third party site administrator which may use cookies but this site is intended for AMERICAN clients and prospective clients only!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Goldman Director Gupta Likely To Testify

A federal white-collar defendant testifying in his own defense is about as rare as a lunar eclipse. We're about to see one next week.

The attorney for Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta told Manhattan federal district judge Jed Rakoff yesterday that it is "highly likely" that Gupta will take the stand.  This is very rare.  Most defendants do not testify in their own defense.  Chalk one up for Gupta in either the guts category...or the hubris category.

Sometimes a defendant is his own best witness.  At the very least, a defendant who testifies -- and gets convicted anyway -- can avoid second guessing his or her own fear of testifying (which in reality is the fear of the hostile government cross-examination).  Such a defendant will go to federal prison but at least not be saying "I could've, I should've, and I didn't."  The ability to avoid self-doubt means something, given the government's success in prosecuting people

The standard advice to people who get investigated or prosecuted is to say nothing.  At least, not until it counts, before a judge and jury.  This way, your comments to investigators in interviews or "proffer" sessions -- which according to FBI policy are not recorded -- cannot be taken out of context, misinterpreted or misreported.  Just ask Martha Stewart.  (Note: You read this right.  This means a defendant has to assume the competence, accuracy, credibility and honesty of the government agent taking the notes of your statements.)

A defendant who testifies also gets to define himself or herself.  A defendant who is silent gets "defined," for better or (much more likely) for worse, by the witnesses chosen to take the stand by the government.  Some government witnesses are often not very credible characters.  You can imagine exactly how bad the government believes to be the people it chooses not to use as trial witnesses.

On the other hand, defendants who testify may get punished. A defendant who is found by the trial judge to have been less than credible, or to have lied on the stand, may receive two extra "levels" on the federal sentencing guidelines matrix.  More levels means more time.  The judge who found a defendant to have lied on the stand has the power to hand down a stiffer sentence to a convicted defendant.  These are all things to consider.

Eric Dixon is a New York investigative lawyer, political consultant, strategic analyst and radio talk show host. 

No comments:

Post a Comment